The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) has honored for the second year in a row the Virginia Tech Department of Physics as one of the newest inductees into “The 5+ Club”, a group of institutions that have graduated five or more physics teachers in a given year. 

In a news release, PhysTEC said, “Most colleges and universities graduate fewer than two trained physics teachers a year, and the most common number of graduates is zero. In their 2014 report, the American Association for Employment in Education found that the teacher shortage in physics is number one among 59 education fields.”

According to department head Mark Pitt, efforts within Physics to produce teachers are headed by Professor John Simonetti and instructor Alma Robinson.

Additional institutions recognized as 5+ Club members for the 2018-19 academic year are: Brigham Young University (Utah); Brigham Young University (Idaho); California State University, Long Beach; Illinois State University; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Stony Brook University, New York; and the University of Central Florida.

An education program of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, PhysTEch “aims to improve the education of future physics teachers by transforming physics departments, creating successful models for physics teacher education programs, and disseminating best practices,” according to its website. The program is also supported by the National Science Foundation.